I had a particularly interesting conversation with Greg Bilsland one night on the way back to the hotel. We were talking about the Gamma World booster packs, and how there were a lot of new card-based products coming soon, and I mentioned how I’ve heard more than a couple people worry that WotC is trying to turn D&D into Magic: The Gathering (or, at least, its business model). He explained to me something I hadn’t previously considered: they don’t want to compete with their own product. They already have an extremely successful TCG. As they mentioned in the new product seminar, the reason for things like the new Fortune Cards is that they want to offer new things to the players because DMs buy the lion’s share of their products. This gives players cool new stuff to buy, and WotC another avenue of business to pursue.Taken together with the rest of the article (which I highly suggest you go read) it really sounds like Wizards is/has been trying to offer more to players. It's smart strategy--especially in a down economy where they were forced to drop the minis. I'm also glad to hear that they're wary of releasing too much product just for game masters (again, the post clarifies this, go read it!).
As an aside, I'll say that I'm not turned off by the cards at all. I rather like having them as an option--but that's the operative word "OPTION". I'm perfectly happy not needing to pick up or having to use the boosters to enjoy the game.
Frankly, I'm more infatuated with older versions of GW and the latest release Mutant Future, but you get where I'm coming from.